1 year without alcohol
6 months ago, I wrote a somewhat dramatic piece on Facebook about my issues with alcohol. It wasn’t an easy piece to write as it is not easy to share and show this kind of vulnerability on a social media platform. We all have these little fears that hold us back. For me, speaking out about this issue was one of them. I posted the message because I felt that if it would help one person, it would already be worthwhile.
Now that I haven’t touched a drink in a year, I can see things a lot more clearly. I think we all have coping mechanisms in place in order to deal with the hardships of life. In my case, drinking was a way to postpone or numb negative emotions. The reality is that alcohol actually works as a depressant. So what happens is that the person hiding from depression and anxiety becomes more depressed and anxious. It is hard to see the elephant in the room when you are standing right in front of it.
Don’t get me wrong. Drinking was not all negative to me. I actually loved the situations and conversations I sometimes found myself in after a few (too many) beverages. It’s a lot harder to get to a similar level of honesty when being completely sober. I had great moments, but also started to notice a down-side to this party-fuel. There was a discrepancy becoming visible between my drinking persona and my sober one.
When I stopped drinking, I was feeling very socially anxious the first few times I went to a bar. I was so used to being shit-faced, that it was hard for me to picture sober me in a crowd of drunks. It turned out it wasn’t all that bad though. It’s all a matter of exposing yourself to those obstacles, so that they break apart eventually. For me, going out sober is actually fun these days. When I first started going out sober, I was quite amazed to see how normal people drink, but I also noticed a percentage of people that was a lot like former me. It is for those people I am writing this piece today.
If you can hold your drink and have a good time (and it adds value to your life) – by all means, enjoy it! If you know how to moderate and it isn’t having a negative effect on yourself and the people around you – have fun with it! But do know there is a fine line that is easily crossed in desperate times. ‘’The most common lie is that which one lies to himself; lying to others is relatively an exception.’’ - Nietzsche
What I would like to accomplish with this piece, is that people that might be plagued by issues such as addiction and/or mental health, speak out to someone. You first need to recognize that you’ve got a problem, before you can do something about it. Starting conversations about the things that are bothering you can really help. Let’s face it, we don’t like to talk about the things that are troubling us the most. It’s uncomfortable to say the least. However, I do want to encourage you to take that step.
Have a sweet weekend everyone!
‘’I like to play blackjack. I'm not addicted to gambling. I'm addicted to sitting in a semi-circle’’. -Mitch Hedberg
1 year without alcohol